Human papillomavirus DNA and anti-HPV secretory IgA antibodies in cytologically normal cervical specimens

J Med Virol. 1994 Jun;43(2):201-7. doi: 10.1002/jmv.1890430219.


Cervical specimens collected from 163 cytologically healthy women were screened for the presence of human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA and anti-HPV secretory IgA antibodies. HPV DNA was detected by a general primer mediated polymerase chain reaction (PCR), which amplifies a conserved region from the L1 ORF of genital HPVs. The PCR products were typed by restriction enzyme digestion. A total of 35 samples (21.5%) were positive for HPV DNA (13 samples for HPV 6, 6 for HPV 16, 3 for HPV 18, and 13 for untypeable HPV X). HPV DNA positivity was significantly higher among women under 25 years of age (34.8%) than among the older patients (12.4%) (P < 0.001). An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) using synthetic peptide antigens was carried out to detect local secretory IgA antibodies against the following HPV specific antigens: HPV 16 E2, HPV 16 E7, HPV 16 L1, HPV 16 L2, and HPV 11 L2. Thirty-four secretions (20.9%) were found to react with at least one of the oligopeptides. Anti-HPV IgA positivity was the highest among women aged 25-32 years, and it was significantly lower in both the younger and the older age groups (P < 0.05). Correlation between HPV DNA and anti-HPV IgA detection was rather weak: anti-peptide IgA positivity was 34.3% (12 of 35) among HPV DNA positive patients compared to 17.2% (22 of 128) among HPV DNA negative women (P < 0.05). The fluctuating course of latent HPV infections should be considered in evaluating the low level of correlation between HPV DNA and anti-HPV IgA positivity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Antibodies, Viral / isolation & purification*
  • Cervix Uteri / virology*
  • DNA, Viral / isolation & purification*
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin A / isolation & purification*
  • Middle Aged
  • Papillomaviridae / immunology
  • Papillomaviridae / isolation & purification*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Vaginal Smears


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • DNA, Viral
  • Immunoglobulin A